DENSO Corporation has developed a more advanced vision sensor that has greater sensitivity at night. It can detect pedestrians, cyclists, road signs, driving lanes and other road users. Working in conjunction with a millimetre-wave radar sensor, the new vision sensor also enables automatic activation of emergency braking when obstacles or hazards are identified, helping reduce accidents and improve overall vehicle safety.

The new vision sensor which is installed ahead of the rearview mirror.
What the human eye can see at night (left) and the greater sensitivity of the new night vision sensor (right).

The capability of the night vision has been achieved by using a unique lens specifically designed for low-light use, and a solid-state imaging device with higher sensitivity. These innovations help the sensor better identify other road users and different-shaped road signs, such as triangular, rectangular, and octagonal signs used in Japan, Europe, and the United States.

An improved white-line detection algorithm and road-edge detection algorithm also broaden the operating range of lane-keeping assistance and lane departure alert functions, while a 40% size reduction from previous models reduces costs and makes installation easier.

The vision sensor is available in certain variants of the latest Toyota Alphard and Vellfire which were released in January this year. It will no doubt also be an integral part of the Toyota Safety Sense and Lexus Safety System for other models, enhancing the night visibility support and road sign assist features.

[Chips Yap]

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